Naked Sleep

Sleep Naked

By Nadine, Already Pretty Contributor

Recently I’ve come across several articles touting the benefits of sleeping in the buff. According to various sources there are approximately 6-10 good reasons for slumber au naturel. My first reaction upon reading them was ‘Are you kidding me? It’s the middle of winter!’ But then I reminded myself “We’re not in Kansas…erm, Canada anymore, Dorothy.” In my former city, a protective layer of flannel was necessary for survival on cold winter nights, at least for me. Not so in California, especially since – according to the locals – the weather in the Bay Area is unseasonably warm this winter. In fact, I’ve actually been waking up most nights sweating and uncomfortable. Gross and definitely not conducive to a good night’s sleep. So I decided to take it all off and  put the naked sleep theory to the test.

Here’s my experience as compared to what the Internet told me. The most common benefits of sleeping nude included the following:

1. Better Sleep

Debatable. On the upside, I’m no longer waking up in a shallow pool of my own perspiration. But I’m also having that dream where I’m naked in the hallway of my high school more often.

2. Anti-aging

Apparently cool, slumbering bodies release melatonin and other anti-aging/growth hormones. I’m not sure how young I look, but I have developed a persistent urge to eat pie for dinner suggesting a marked decrease in my maturity levels.

3. Healthy Private Parts

Airing out our genitals helps keep them cool, dry and yeast-free. My vagina definitely has renewed vitality since I stopped confining her at night. She’s thinking about doing a juice cleanse and maybe taking up yoga.

4. Decreased appetite.

Nope. I’m okay with this. (See above item re: pie.)

5. Increased metabolism

Unfettered by clothes, airflow to our skin’s sebaceous glands will help optimize the body’s metabolism. Some of the articles I read claim this can lead to weight loss. So that’s good assuming weight loss is something you want for yourself. Personally I haven’t noticed any weight changes. Maybe naked sleep is balancing out some of my other new lifestyle choices. (See above item re: pie.)

Are you a fan of bare naked bed time? What benefits or disadvantages have you noticed? If you’ve never tried it, WikiHow has published this helpful guide on How To Sleep Naked. (Apparently it’s more involved than 1. Sleep 2. Naked. Who knew?)

Sweet dreams, everyone!

photo by photo.envy via Compfight cc


Already Pretty contributor Nadine Thornhill is a sex educator and blogger at Adorkable Undies. She is a new resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, having recently moved from Ottawa, Ontario to pursue a Doctor of Education in Human Sexuality. Her writing tends toward subjects such as clitorises, feminism, vibrators, body image, gender politics and non-monogamy. She is a passionately committed Scrabble player and lifelong klutz, having sustained 16 concussions to date.

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26 Responses to “Naked Sleep”

  1. Becky

    Tried this a few times. The results:

    1) Chilly shoulders
    2) Chilly feet (I sleep in socks normally)
    3) Constant, low-level anxiety about finding attire in time if the house catches on fire and I need to escape, if I oversleep and need to get up to answer the door (this actually happened, and it was an irate neighbor), or if someone breaks in (not only is there a scary person in the house, there’s a scary person in the house and I’M NAKED)
    4) Chilly middle-of-the-night trips to the bathroom, which are already unpleasant

    Verdict – uncomfortable, and oh-so-impractical. Completely outweighed the fact that my husband was much in favor. Sorry, husband.

      • Grace H

        #3!!! My husband has asked me before why I wear so many clothes to bed, and this is the exact response I’ve given him. Add in the fact that we have kids, and my first priority if getting out of the house in an emergency is going to be grabbing them, not my clothes!

  2. beate

    living in a colder, northern climate and in a old house in the woods without “modern” heating there are only a few nights in the year i can sleep au naturel. but in the warmer month i wear only a shirt…..

  3. Valentina

    Nadine, how I love you! “She’s thinking about doing a juice cleanse and maybe taking up yoga.” You kill me. I’ve slept naked for what seems like forever, and I’m always kind of surprised that people sleep in pajamas for reasons other than warmth (no judgment, just surprise: ‘oh, yeah, civilized people cover themselves up at night’). I find it to be the ultimate comfort, but I get that not everyone else would. Here’s a benefit that’s sorta scientific. If you’re sleeping with someone else, skin to skin contact produces oxytocin, that “I love EVERYONE” hormone. My husband theorizes that this can make you feel like you’re having more sex than you actually are, because you’re always touching/feeling bare skin. Just a thought.

  4. Lynn

    The person who recommended this must not have small children or elderly relatives who need immediate help in the house. I wear a short nightgown which allows airing of private parts while still making it possible to deal with a small child who needs a hug or an elderly relative who needs immediate assistance. Naked is reserved for holidays with the spouse infrequent though they are!

  5. A.B.

    Nope, not a fan of sleeping naked. I don’t often wear more than a shirt and underwear though.

  6. Cass

    You might experience an increase in basal metabolic rate, but it almost certainly has nothing whatsoever to do with your sebaceous glands.

    Research has shown that being cold (in one recent study, experiencing 15 degree Celsius temperatures for as little as fifteen minutes without warm clothing) can activate brown adipose tissue (a specialized kind of fat cell that burns fat for warmth and which is generally associated with better insulin sensitivity) and even convert white adipose tissue (mostly storage and hormone production) to brown adipose. If it’s cold in your house, sleeping naked might lead to more brown adipose, and therefore lead to your body using more energy at rest. Whether or not you make up the difference with a slice of pie is up to you, though. : )

    However, as a biologist, I’m not sure why on earth your sebaceous glands are in the conversation here. Their job is to secrete sebum to keep your skin hydrated and intact. There’s no evidence they have anything remotely to do with “optimizing” your metabolism.

  7. Gracey the Giant

    I tend to get really cold when I sleep, wearing layers of pajamas and covering up with layers of blankets. I can’t imagine ever sleeping in the nude in the winter an d I’m just in Oregon!

  8. Jan

    I would feel I had to wash my sheets more often and I’m lacking drying space, also I hate going braless pretty much ever, but otherwise it would be nice. If I have a shower late at night I often just crawl into bed and fall asleep naked, but I don’t think I could do it intentionally, I like my breasts to be packed away neatly!

  9. Aging fashionista

    Yes indeed. Put my pjs on late in the eve, go to bed in them, and take them off when I wake in the middle of the night. Been doing that for years.. No little kids or grannies in our house tho, so i see your point on that score. Keep my bathrobe quite nearby in anticipation of fire or burglars. Very comfortable, quite warm under the down covers (and i live in Minneapolis where we have about 55 inches of snow now btw.

  10. Leslie

    I sleep in just my underwear, which is naked enough for me. I’ve never been able to go 100% because I feel like my privates get MORE sweaty than when they’ve got clean cotton unders covering them. And I just get up and walk around topless to pee, etc. My son only just turned 4, and is used to Mama & Da sleeping in just their underpants, so it’s no big deal to him. 😀 (yet)

    • Beth C.

      Just so you know, this was always the norm in my house and it never got weird. Normal is what you make of it. Obviously do what you want, but it never HAS to become a weird or sexual thing even when your kiddo gets older.

  11. Lisa

    Have slept naked for decades. I sleep hot, it just makes sense. Threw on a nightgown when small children woke.

    I do wear pajamas, in the daytime:).

  12. Sadie

    I, too, run hot when I sleep and prefer to sleep “commando,” even in a cold room. For me the problem is living in a region prone to earthquakes. It’s pretty awful to be woken by a quake in the middle of the night and wonder, “Should I go outside right now this minute?”

    When the ground is shaky, I sleep with a robe and slippers right next to the bed. As well as my handbag, packed with a fully charged phone and the phone charger.

  13. Be

    I have lived in a tropical country almost always & have been sleeping naked for last 2 years. I share a flat with others but I lock my room when sleeping, so I can afford to sleep naked. I have night frocks in my room, so I can put them on in 10 seconds, if i need to go out. Let’s say I like my freedom.

    A few years ago, I often had this fear – what if an earthquake happens? What if I am caught outside in skimpy night clothes etc. moving to another country has helped me get over those fears.

    I still sleep with clothes on when I am back with my family though.

    The benefits listed seem like pseudo science to me & I am not so into believing them.

  14. Danielle

    I can’t imagine sleeping anything but naked. Even in the frozen tundra of the Canadian prairies. Pyjama pants give me a wedgie and shirts / nightgowns ride up and are uncomfortable. Besides nudie cuddles are the best!!

  15. Nudey Sleeper

    As far as I’m concerned bedclothes are still clothes, just more loosely draped ;o)
    Always wore a nightie and undies as a young woman, then got married and wearing clothes in bed as a newlywed just seemed a bit not quite right. I like being able to touch my husband’s skin in bed, especially as he’s usually warmer than me. Admittedly it’s a bit cold when you first get into bed in winter if you don’t have an electric blanket. I’ll wear socks in winter if my feet are cold, but I’d rather put more blankets on than wear clothes.
    I have the luxury of not having anyone else in the house with me but my husband.
    And to an earlier poster: the sheets get washed once a week.

  16. TexasAggieMom

    I have been a fan of sleeping nude since childhood, when my mother would paddle me if she caught me. I keep some sort of sleepwear hanging on the headboard and a robe hanging on the door in case of some sort of nocturnal emergency. When my daughters were little, they knew to knock if they didn’t want to see me naked. If they slept with me on vacations or at grandma’s house, I put on at least a t-shirt and panties. Although our Texas winters are generally mild, this one has been awful and I’ve been getting a lot of use out of my flannel sheets. I can neither support or refute the health claims made in this post; I have just always preferred to sleep in nothing except socks.

  17. Thursday

    I sleep naked all year round these days, but it only came about 5-6 years ago when I started sharing a bed with my partner on a regular basis. He runs hot, I run cold, so we even each other out! Now I find it very difficult to sleep with nightclothes (when staying in hotels, with friends or family) because I find them restrictive. Even when sleeping alone I find I don’t have any trouble keeping warm in winter, but I do rely on an electric blanket to compensate for my own poor circulation (but I needed that with pajamas, anyway). I just keep a dressing gown or nightdress close to the bed.

    As for any of these benefits…I’m still not overly fond of pie.

  18. Hetty

    Kind of depends. Sometimes I’m in a shirt and panties, sometimes I’m naked. Doesn’t matter the season. Although if I’m having a sweaty leg night having light pants of some kind on helps immensely. Nothing grosser than trying to sleep when your legs are sweaty.

  19. Suze in CO

    Stripped out of my nightgown one night during a miserably hot summer when I was about 18 and haven’t worn anything (except socks) to bed since. Once in a while I will wear a nightgown to bed during the winter until the sheets warm up and then take it off before I drift off to sleep. I do keep a robe or nightgown handy in case of fire or emergency, but I figure the sight of me naked and swinging a baseball bat (also kept by the bed) will be MORE than enough to scare off any burglars who might happen along.

  20. Annabeth

    I sleep nude in all but the coldest weather. While I see that you can’t necessarily do this if you have small kids or others you have to care for during the night, I’m not in that situation, so I figure pajamas are just more laundry. I am someone who lives in a warm climate and prefers to “sleep cold,” so I find I rest very well with a good blanket and nothing else.

    Bonus: Less to pack for travel!

  21. Trina Dubya

    I live by myself (most of the time) in Southern California in a flat without air conditioning, so staying warm is not an issue. I sleep in pajamas or a night gown if someone’s visiting, I’m on vacation, or it’s winter. I keep underwear on at night one week out of every four, pajamas optional. The rest of the time, I sleep in the buff with pajamas right next to the bed, just in case I need to move quickly. I wear those pajamas when I’m shuffling around the place before my morning shower or after I come home from work, but I prefer to sleep without them.

    I keep a flat sheet between me and my quilt or blanket on the bed at all times and change it with my fitted sheet every week. (The pillow cases get changed semi-weekly, actually, to keep my face and neck acne down to a dull roar.) That way, I don’t have to wash my quilt or blanket as often.

  22. Penelope

    Can’t do it. I inevitably wake up with frozen breasts and thighs that are sweat-stuck together. I dunno, my circulation is weird. A tank top and shorts are my minimal sleep needs.